If anyone should ask, tell them mandarins.
Tell them eucalyptus sap that rubies on the bark.
Tell them snow crunch and grass burn
and skipping a hosewater rope.
If anyone should ask, tell them
bluebottles, cuttlefish, sea glass
and wild raspberries that charge
blood for fruit…
From ‘Such riches’, Michelle Dicinoski
W turns one this week. It is amazing and unbelievable to watch this small person crawling about the house, wrapping her arms around our necks, babbling away and being weird, developing this wonderful, assured personality. When I was pregnant everyone had something to say about ‘the drastic changes’ that having baby would bring into our lives. But no one told us how hilarious and beautiful babies are, how much laughter they bring into your home.
To celebrate her birthday we’re going camping. I can’t wait to get out of the city, to wake up to the sound of sunrise and the smell of damp leaves, to bake potato to a charcoal crust in an open fire, to count a blanket of stars in an ink black sky. Being out in the bush is soul-refreshing, and W is going to love it.
This White Bean, Fennel & Dill Salad is vibrant, fresh and so easy. It travels well, and takes all of ten minutes to throw together. Every bite is a burst of flavour and it is super light, but the protein in the beans will keep your energy levels up. Add a slice of fresh crusty bread, and you’ve got a perfect weekday lunch.
I cooked up some white beans for this salad, but you can just as easily use canned ones. And if you have some on hand, go ahead and throw in finely sliced spring onion, or shallots (I rarely put onion in a weekday salad as S usually takes some to work and he prefers not to have onion breath all afternoon). You could also throw in a handful of arugula if you fancy a little more greenery.
White Bean, Fennel & Dill Salad
2 1/2 cups cooked white beans
1/2 fennel bulb
1 bunch (8 – 12) radishes
1 cup dill
50ml extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 tsp seeded mustard
1/2 tsp brown sugar
Sea salt, to taste
In a small jar whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, sugar and salt. Set aside.
Using a mandoline (or a very sharp knife) finely slice the fennel. Top, tail and quarter the radishes, remove the end and string of the snowpeas, and roughly chop the dill. Mix all of the veges in a bowl with the white beans, add the dressing, and toss together until everything is combined. Set aside for about 15 mins to let the flavours mellow.
Serve fresh, with a crusty slice of bread.
Serves 2 – 4.